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Jun 23, 2023
Elle Fanning & Sarah Paulson Set For Mirrah Foulkes’ ‘I Am Sybil’

Elle Fanning (The Great) and Sarah Paulson (Ratched) are attached to star in I Am Sybil, a new film co-written and directed by Mirrah Foulkes (Judy & Punch). It explores the gripping true story behind the best-selling book and cultural-sensation case of Sybil, one of the first mainstream cases of dissociative identity disorder (or multiple personality disorder, as it was then known), which spurred questions in the public consciousness around identity and mental health.

Sybil was a pseudonym given to Shirley Mason in a 1973 work of nonfiction by Flora Rheta Schreiber, which examined the young woman’s treatment for MPD by psychologist Connie Wilbur. The source material the new film will draw on is Debbie Nathan’s 2011 book Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case, one of a number of texts that dispute the facts of Schreiber’s account.

While the producers wouldn’t confirm the roles that Fanning and Paulson will be playing, sources have Fanning as Mason, with Paulson as Wilbur.

This new take on the story of Sybil emerges following two starry TV movie adaptations, both titled Sybil. The first, starring Sally Field and Joanne Woodward, debuted on NBC in 1976 and won four Emmys, while the second starring Tammy Blanchard, Jessica Lange and JoBeth Williams premiered on CBS in 2007.

Foulkes will direct from her script written with Jen Silverman. Producers include Jennifer Todd for Jennifer Todd Pictures, Annapurna and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lindsay Williams for The Gotham Group.

Emmy nominee Fanning stars opposite Nicholas Hoult on Hulu’s The Great, a historical satire that has her playing Catherine the Great, which returned for its third season last month. The actress most recently closed a deal to star opposite Kristen Stewart and Josh O’Connor in Karim Aïnouz’s Rosebushpruning, also signing on to play the love interest of Timothée Chalamet’s Bob Dylan in Searchlight’s A Complete Unknown.

An Emmy winner most recently seen starring on such Ryan Murphy series as Ratched, Impeachment: American Crime Story and American Horror Story, Paulson next will be seen starring in Dust, a horror thriller directed for Searchlight by Will Joines and Karrie Crouse.

An Australian writer, director and actress who made her feature directorial debut with Judy & Punch, a dark comedy starring Mia Wasikowska and Damon Herriman released in the U.S. by Samuel Goldwyn Films on the heels of a Sundance premiere, Foulkes has also directed on the Australian series Eden and Upright.

Fanning is repped by UTA, Echo Lake Entertainment and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller; Paulson by CAA; Foulkes by United Management in Australia, Untitled Entertainment and UTA; and Silverman by UTA. [Source]

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The Great (TV Series)

Role: Catherine
Release Date: 2020
A royal woman living in rural Austria during the seventeenth century is forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of Russia, when she marries an Emperor.

The Nightingale

Role: Isabelle
Release Date: 2023
The lives of two sisters living in France are torn apart at the onset of World War II. Based on Kristin Hannah's novel 'The Nightingale'.

Francis and the Godfather

Role: Ali MacGraw
Release Date: 202?
Young director Francis Ford Coppola faces off against producer Robert Evans during the production of 'The Godfather.'


Role: Stratten
Release Date: 202?
The founder of the all-male strip club, Chippendales, becomes suspicious of the New York choreographer he hired to help turn it into a highly-successful enterprise.

I Am Sybil

Role: Mason
Release Date: 202?
Examines the circumstances surrounding the case of Sybil, one of the first well-known instances of dissociative identity disorder which raised issues of identity and mental health in the public eye.


Role: Unknown
Release Date: 202?
Follows a young man suffering from epilepsy who plots the murders of his dysfunctional family.

A Complete Unknown

Role: Sylvie Russo
Release Date: 202?
A young Bob Dylan shakes up the folk music scene when he plugs in his electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.
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